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Zambian leader pledges to support Under 20 soccer team prepare for World Cup finals  

LUSAKA, (Xinhua) -- Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Wednesday pledged his government’s commitment to support the Under 20 national soccer team in its preparation for the forthcoming FIFA World Cup tournament.

The team is among four countries that will represent Africa at the World Cup to be hosted by South Korea in May.

Speaking when he hosted a luncheon for the team which won the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Under-20 tournamen, the Zambian leader said he will not tolerate stories of lack of money for the team to prepare adequately for the world junior soccer showpiece.

“Let me take this opportunity to appeal to all stakeholders to support our champions in their World Cup preparations and during the tournament itself. I will support you so others should promise openly that they will support you. Don’t tell me that the government is broke,”  he said.

The Zambian leader lauded the team for its victory, saying the win has brought smiles and pride to every citizen and reminded the world that the country was still a football power house in Africa.

Zambia has been placed in Group C alongside Portugal, Costa Rica and Iran during draws conducted in Seoul on Wednesday.

Zambia will be appearing for the third time at the World Youth Soccer Championship. 


Morocco’s football team to play Tunisia, Burkina in friendly   

RABAT, (Xinhua) -- Moroccan football team will play friendly games with Burkina Faso and Tunisia on March 24 and 28 respectively in the city of Marrakech, according to the Moroccan Federation of Football.

Local media unveiled on Wednesday Morocco’s final 25-man squad for the two friendly matches, which are part of Morocco’s preparation for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Morocco coach Herve Renard kept the same squad that reached the quarterfinals of the 2017 African Cup of Nations held in Gabon, including the two stars that were injured few weeks before the competition, Nice’s Younes Belhanda and Southampton’s Soufiane Boufal.

The squad also includes three new faces, namely Real Madrid’s Achraf Hakimi and Abdelhamid El Kaoutari and Yassine Bamou from the French teams of Bastia and Nantes.

Morocco is set to play Mali on August 28 in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.



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